Max Rapson even wrote a book about a superhero with diabetes
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A brave schoolboy from Staffordshire who created a popular comic strip with his dad about living with diabetes is now a passionate campaigner on the condition. Nine-year-old Max Rapson, from Rugeley, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was only 18 months old and campaigns regularly for diabetes awareness.
The schoolboy is currently helping raise funds for 'Life for a Child' by taking part in a global balloon challenge ahead of World Diabetes Day next week. Growing up with the disease, Max knows all too well the challenges of living with it day in and day out – from the dangers of suffering hypos (low blood glucose) to having to have daily injections.
Last year, Max and his dad Gary created an illustrated comic book, called The Adventures of Captain Lantus. The book follows a character who gains his powers from an insulin pump. The book was published and has now been read by more than 1,000 children around the world.
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Gary said: "When Max first received his insulin pump, which helps control his blood sugar, he said, 'Dad, I’m like Iron Man – my pump is like my super power.' And from there, we had the idea to create a Marvel-inspired illustrated book which would help other children see their pump as a positive."
Ahead of World Diabetes Day on Monday, November 14, Max has spoken about the importance of awareness and connecting with the wider diabetes community. He said: "I'm so proud of what my dad and I have achieved with The Adventures of Captain Lantus.
"It helped me so much when I was younger and felt very confused by my diagnosis. Now, I am proud to wear a pump and also, love being connected to other kids around the world who have Type 1 Diabetes like me."
Almost half a million people across the UK and Ireland live with Type 1 Diabetes, which is a chronic condition that occurs when the body does not produce insulin or produces insufficient insulin, resulting in excess glucose in the blood. Unlike Type 2 diabetes, it cannot be prevented and does not develop as a result of a particular lifestyle.
People from across the UK, including Max, have joined forces to help raise awareness around the challenges of living with Type 1 Diabetes – by taking part in the #BlueBalloonChallenge, a viral charitable fundraising initiative currently sweeping the nation. The #BlueBalloonChallenge kicked off last month and will continue to run up until World Diabetes Day on Monday.
Organised by Medtronic, the global leader in healthcare technology, the challenge invites members of the public to step into the shoes of those who live with diabetes by posting a photo or film themselves as they try to keep a balloon in the air, a metaphor for the constant balancing act required to manage diabetes. For every post Medtronic will donate £5 to Life for a Child, a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing life-saving insulin and basic medical devices to children with diabetes in developing countries.
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